Professor Antonino Zichichi's Short Biography


Prof. Antonino Zichichi

Antonino Zichichi, Emeritus Professor of Advanced Physics at the University of Bologna, has authored over 1100 scientific papers which include: seven discoveries, five inventions, three original ideas which opened new avenues in high energy subnuclear physics and five high-precision measurements of fundamental physics properties.

Discoveries: 1) the pair production of heavy mesons with positive and negative strangeness (the decisive proof for the existence of the strangeness quantum number in the Subnuclear Universe); 2) the first example of nuclear Antimatter, the Antideuteron; 3) the Effective Energy in the forces which act between quarks and gluons; 4) the electromagnetic structure of the proton in the "time-like" region; 5) the first example of a baryonic particle having a quark of the 3rd family; 6) the leading effect in the production of baryons with flavour charges of the second and the third family of quarks; 7) that the last constituent of our universe, the proton, cannot be broken down.

Inventions: 1) a new method for constructing high-precision polynomial magnetic fields; 2) a new technology able to detect, with extremely powerful efficiency, lepton-antilepton pairs; 3) a new electronic device to determine, with 70 picoseconds precision, the time of flight of subnuclear particles; 4) the neutron missing-mass spectrometer with high resolution power in space and time; 5) the Multigap Resistive Plate Chamber (MRPC), a new charged-particle detector with world record in time resolution.

Original Ideas: 1) that of a third leptonic column in the elementary particles structure, which led to the discovery of the third lepton; 2) that of the study of new vector meson states decaying into neutral lepton pairs, which led to the discovery of vector mesons composed of quark-antiquark pairs of the second and third columns of the elementary particles structure; 3) that of computing the effect of the evolution of gaugino masses in the convergence of the fundamental forces, which led to the discovery of the so-called EGM Effect, thus lowering by a factor of 700 the level of energy required for the discovery of the Superworld, an energy level whose absolute value is still unknown.

High-precision Measurements: 1) of the maximum limit which can have the electric dipole moment of the muon; 2) of the universal weak coupling constant; 3) of the muon magnetic moment; 4) of the universality of the electromagnetic forces at very high energy; 5) of the quark mixings in the pseudoscalar and in the vector meson states. At present, he is the director of the LAA project at CERN, he is the chairman of the TOF project of the ALICE experiment for the LHC (CERN); at DESY (Hamburg) he is responsible for the Italian component of the ZEUS experiment with the HERA collider; at the GRAN SASSO underground laboratory he is the spokesperson of the LVD experiment.  

PROJECTS – The great projects of European Physics: LEP at CERN (Geneva-CH), GRAN SASSO at INFN (Italy), HERA at DESY (Germany) and LAA at CERN are all linked to his name, for his seminal contributions in their conception, consequent study and implementation phases. The LEP Project provided for the most powerful research tool for the study of the interaction between electrons and positrons. The GRAN SASSO Project provided for the largest underground laboratory in the world for the study of cosmic neutrinos and of those generated in CERN, for the study of matter stability and of Supernovae. The HERA Project provided for the most powerful laboratory for the study of the interactions between electrons and quarks. The LAA Project was the first in the world to systematically study and invent new subnuclear technologies. At present, he is the director at INFN of the ELN Project for the study of the most powerful proton supercollider at the highest levels of energy and luminosity.  

CHARGES and AWARDS – He has been in charge of high-level offices at the European level (President of EPS, the European Physical Society, 1978-1980) and national level (President of the INFN, National Institute for Nuclear Physics, 1977-1983). He was Physicist Staff Member at CERN (1955); Senior Physicist at CERN (1962); Professor of Advanced Physics at the University of Bologna (from 1964); Former Director of the Bologna Section of the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics (1967-1971); Former Director of the Postgraduate School of Physics at the University of Bologna (1968-1972); Memberof the Scientific Council of the Institute of the Italian Encyclopaedia (Rome, 1980-1985); President of the Galileo Galilei Foundation (1983); Director of the Eloisatron Project of INFN (1983); Member of the Council of the "Fondation Jean Monnet pour l'Europe" (1984); President of the Gran Sasso International Scientific Committee (from 1984); President of the "Science for Peace" International Committee (1985); Leader of the CERN LAA project (1987); President of the NATO Committee for Disarmament (Nuclear, Chemical, Bacteriological and Conventional) (1988-1992); Past President of the Italian Governmental Commission on Nuclear Risk (1989-1992); Honorary President of the “Associazione di Amicizia Senegal-Sicilia” (1989); Past President of the Italian State Committee for Industrial Reconversion from war to peace technology (1990-1993); President of the San Valentino Foundation (1989-2002); Member of the Physical and Moral Sciences Committee, Abdus Salam Foundation (Trieste, 1990-1995); Italian Delegate to the NATO Science Committee (1992); Member of the Advisory Council of the Pan-American Foundation for Physics (Nashville, USA, 1993); an EEC representative in the Scientific Committee of the International Centre for Science and Technology in Moscow (1993-1999); Trustee of the Muhammad Abdus Salam Foundation (Trieste, 1994); President of the Franco Ferrara Academy (1994); Honorary President of the APAI Associazione Patologie Autoimmuni (Catania, 1996); Member of the National Committee for the Bicentennial Celebration of Luigi Galvani (Bologna, 1997); Member of the Committee of Experts for the National Research Policy, Ministry of Education, University and Research (Rome, 1999-2003); President of the “Enrico Fermi” Centre in Rome (2000-2011); Honorary Member of the Società Italiana di Igiene Medicina Preventiva e Sanità Pubblica (Roma, 2003); Honorary member of the Italian Physical Society (Catania, 2005); Councillor for Cultural Assets and Sicilian Identity (Palermo, 2012-2013); Director ad honorem of the “Ideale Osservatorio Scientifico di Montecassino” (Montecassino, 2014). In 1962, he founded the EMFCSC (Ettore Majorana Foundation and Centre for Scientific Culture: 126 post-university schools in all fields of advanced research) of which he is the President. He is President of the World Federation of Scientists (1973) and of the World Laboratory (1986). He has received 104 prizes [City of Como Prize for Physics (Como, 1964) – Mulino d'Oro Prize (Trapani, 1969) – Mondello Prize for Science (Mondello, 1976) – Gold Plate for Science and Culture (Milan, 1978) – Universo Prize for Physics (Potenza, 1980) – Polifemo d'Argento Prize for Science (Zafferana Etnea, 1980) – Lorenzo il Magnifico European Prize of the Medicean Academy (Florence, 1980) – Grande Ufficiale of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem (Rome, 1980) – San Valentino d'Oro International Prize (Terni, 1981) Torri Merlate Prize (Rivarolo Mantovano, 1981) – City of Taormina Prize (Taormina, 1981) – Coppa del Presidente Prize of the Gruppo Culturale Italiano (Forlì, 1981) – City of Castiglione di Sicilia Prize for Science (Castiglione di Sicilia, 1981) – Aphrodite Gold Plate of the City of Marineo Special Prize for Science and Culture (Marineo, 1981) – Dante d'Argento Prize for Science and Culture (La Spezia, 1981) – Anello d’Oro Prize (Montecassiano, 1981) – Le Muse Urania International Prize for Science (Florence, 1982) – Talamone Prize for Science (Agrigento, 1982) – Simba Prize for the Solidarity in Science between Europe and the Third World, Simba Academy (Rome, 1982) – City of Salsomaggiore International Prize for Science (Salsomaggiore, 1982) – Europa Zaccari Prize for Science (Genoa, 1983) – Pontano Prize for Scientific Research of the Accademia Gioviano Pontano (Naples, 1984) – Prize for Peace (Taranto, 1984) – Gold Plate, University of the Third Age (Bergamo, 1984) – Leonardo da Vinci Prize (Firenze, 1984) – Ercole d'Este Plate (Ferrara, 1984) – Paul Harris Fellowship, Rotary Club Palermo (Palermo, 1985) – Milano Medicina Prize for Science (Milan, 1985) – Ascot-Brun Prize for Science and Peace (Milan, 1986) – Alghero Prize for Science (Alghero, 1986) – Scientist of the Year, elected by the Young European Researchers (Milan, 1986) – Gold Plate for Science (Capo d'Orlando, 1986) – Kroton Prize for Science (Crotone, 1986) – Unesco Prize for Peace and International Understanding awarded by the Young People of Europe (Florence, 1986) – Lupo d'Oro Prize for Science (Licodia Eubea, 1986) – Special Prize for Peace (Bassano del Grappa, 1987) – Rosone d'Oro-Città di Pianella Prize for Science (Pianella di Pescara, 1987) – Paul Harris Fellowship, Rotary Club Roma-EUR (Rome, 1988) – Città di Mazara del Vallo Prize for Science (Mazara del Vallo, 1988) – Comiso Prize for Peace (Comiso, 1988) – VIP-Sicilia Prize for Science (Rome, 1989) – La Madonnina International Prize for Science (Milan, 1990) – Civiltà dell’Amore Prize (Rieti, 1990) – Giara d’Argento 1990 International Prize (Taormina, 1990) – Terme d'Europa Prize for Science (Montecatini Terme, 1990) – Science for Peace-Town of Brescia International Prize (Brescia, 1990) – Luigi Pirandello 1990 Prize for Culture (Taormina, 1990) – Sileno Prize for the Environment (Giardini Naxos, 1990) – Targa d'Oro 1991 di Milazzo International Prize (Milazzo, 1991) – Mediterraneo d'Oro 1991 International Prize (Pollenza, 1991) – Libertas 1991 International Prize (Rome, 1991) – Sirena del Mediterraneo 1992 International Prize (Naples, 1992) – Cypraea International Prize (Naples, 1992) – Civiltàsenzafrontiere 1992 International Prize (Milan, 1992) – Riviera delle Palme Prize for the Pocket Book - Essays (San Benedetto del Tronto, 1994) – San Francesco e Chiara d'Assisi International Prize for Dialogue - Science and Research (Massa, 1994) – Scienza ed Ecologia Europetroli Prize (Rome, 1994) – Melvin Jones Fellowship, Lions Club Ferrara Ercole I d’Este (Ferrara, 1994) – Reconciliation National Prize (Conflenti, 1995) – Santa Caterina d'Oro 1996 Prize (Siena, 1996) – International Prize for the Environment - Globo d'Oro 1996 (Civitavecchia, 1996) – Collare Accademico Internazionale "Padre Pio" di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti (Trinitapoli, 1997) – Prize of the Centenary of the Italian Physical Society - SIF (Rome, 1997) – Michelangelo per la Scienza Prize, Basilica Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri (Rome, 1997) – Città di Ostia alla Cultura International Prize (Ostia Antica, 1998)Città di Terracina 1998 Prize (Terracina, 1999) – Unesco Prize (Venice, 1999) Salento Prize (Lecce, 1999) – Montegrappa Prize (Padernò del Grappa, 1999) – Enrico Fermi Prize of the Italian Physical Society (Milan, 2001) Certificate of the President of the Italian Republic as Well Deserving Man for Science and Culture (Rome, 2001) Ambiente Città di Salerno Prize (Salerno, 2002) – Torre d’Argento Prize (Carrara, 2003) – Culture Prize (Padoa, 2003) – Alvise Cornaro Prize (Cortina d’Ampezzo, 2003) – Journalistic Prize for Divulgazione Scientifica Voltolino (Milan, 2003)Carriera per la Scienza Prize (Lecce, 2003) – Prize Vittorio De Sica for the Science (Rome, 2004) – Cutiliae Prize (Castel Sant’angelo, Rieti, 2004) – Oscar dei Desideri Prize (Rome, 2006) – Rossolini 2006 Prize (Parma, 2006) – Foglio d’Oro alla Professionalità Italiani nel Mondo Prize (Monte Carlo, 2006) – International Prize Cartagine (Trani, 2006) – Liberal International Prize for Freedom 2005 (London, 2006)Prize to Carriera Scientifica (Cittanova, 2007) – Journalistic Prize Michele Torre (Turin, 2007) – Benemerenza Civica of the Regional Province of Palermo (Palermo, 2007) – 2007 Bruno Pontecorvo Prize (Dubna, 2008) – Albert Einstein Prize (Brescia, 2009) – Paul Harris Fellowship, Rotary Club International (Acqui Terme, 2009) – Fides et Ratio Prize (Modena, 2009) – Viva Maria Prize (Staggia Senese, 2010) – Marzocco Prize (Florence, 2011) – Melvin Jones Fellowship, Lions Club Firenze-Michelangelo (Florence, 2011) – Faro Biscari Prize, Lions Club Catania (Catania, 2011) – Premio Internazionale Giovanni Paolo I (Belluno, 2011)Premio AIF, Associazione Italiana Formatori (Bologna, 2011)Premio Pannunzio (Turin, 2011) – Targa della Regione Piemonte (Turin, 2011) – Premio Vittorini (Siracusa, 2012) – Le Stele della Ienca Prize (L’Aquila, 2013) Excellent Prize (Milan, 2014) International Prize Fides et Scientia Vincenzo De Colibus (Sarno, 2014) San Zosimo Prize (Lodi, 2015)]. He has received 10 Gold Medal [Gold Medal for Science (Erice, 1975)Gold Medal for Science and Culture from the President of the Italian Republic (Pisa, 1981) Gold Medal for the Better Christian Testimony (Vibo Valentia, 1982) Gold Medal, Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Cremona, 1984) – Gold Medal of the City of Frosinone (Frosinone, 1984) – Gold Medal of the City of Naples (Naples, 1989) – Gold Medal of the City of Isernia (Isernia, 1989) – Gold Medal Alcide De Gasperi for Science (Rome, 1990) – Gold Medal for Science and Culture from the President of the Italian Republic (2002) – SIF Gold Medal Galileo Galilei (Pisa, 2014)]. He is Honorary Citizen of various Italian cities amongst which Erice (1974), Rivarolo Mantovano (1981), Naples (1990), Altomonte (1996), Comprensorio del Basso Tirreno Cosentino (15 municipalities of the mountain community of Monti Azzurri: Belforte del Chienti, Caldarola, Camporotondo di Fiastrone, Cessapalombo, Colmurano, Gualdo, Loro Piceno, Monte San Martino, Penna San Giovanni, Ripe San Ginesio, San Ginesio, Sant’Angelo in Pontano, Sarnano, Serrapetrona and Tolentino, 2006), L’Aquila (2006), Cassino (2010), Ragusa (2011), Trinitapoli (2012) and Castrocielo (2015). He has been awarded Honorary Degrees from Cosenza (1986), Beijing (1990), Buenos Aires (1993), Malta (1993), Arizona (1998), Bucharest (1999), Palermo (2002), Turin (2004) and Vilnius Universities. He is member of the following Academies: the Medicean Academy of Florence (1980), the Selinunte Academy (1981), the Santa Chiara Academy of Genoa (1982), the European Academy (1993), the Tiberina Pontifical Academy, in the Bologna Academy of Sciences (1984), the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences (1992), the Georgian Academy of Sciences (1996), the Lithuania Academy of Sciences (2005), the Moldovan Academy of Sciences, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (2000), the Pontaniana Academy (2005) and of the Kyrgyz Republic Academy of Sciences (2012). He has received the Order of Merit award of the Polish Republic (1993) and the Federal Republic of Germany (1993); the Vatican’s Knight of the Great Cross of the Order of Saint Sylvester (Vatican City, 1985), the most distinguished award (Cavaliere di Gran Croce) of the Italian Republic (2003), the Grande Ufficiale of the Order of Merit award of the Italian Republic (1999). Nine books were written by eminent scientists about his discoveries and inventions.  

BOOKS – AZ is the author of twenty-one books: L’Infinito, Il Cigno Galileo Galilei, three editions (1988), Rizzoli-Bur, seven editions (1994–1997), Pratiche Editrice, six editions (1998–2001), Il Saggiatore-NET, two editions (2005–2006), Marco Tropea Editore (2009); Scienza ed Emergenze Planetarie, Rizzoli, three editions (1993–1994), Supersaggi Rizzoli, twenty-three editions (1996–2006); Creativity in Science, first edition (1996), World Scientific (1999), translated into Russian and published by YPCC, Moscow (2001); Subnuclear Physics - The First Fifty Years, a joint publication by the University and the Academy of Sciences of Bologna, Italy (1998), World Scientific, two editions (2000–2001); Perché io credo in Colui che ha fatto il mondo, Il Saggiatore, twenty-three editions (1999–2005), Marco Tropea Editore (2009), translated into Portuguese and published by Editora Objetiva Ltda, Rio de Janeiro (2000), translated into French and published by Éditions Salvator, Paris (2003); L’irresistibile fascino del Tempo, Il Saggiatore, five editions (2000), Il Saggiatore-NET, three editions (2004–2005), Marco Tropea Editore (2011); Antimatter. Past, Present and Future, SIF (2001); Galilei, divin uomo, Il Saggiatore, four editions (2001–2006), Marco Tropea Editore, two editions (2009–2010), translated into English and published by Italian Physical Society, two editions (2009–2010); Il vero e il falso, Il Saggiatore, four editions (2003–2006), translated into Chinese and published by Shanghai Scientific & Technical Publishers (2006); Galilei. Dall’Ipse Dixit al processo di oggi. 100 risposte, Il Saggiatore (2004); Tra Fede e Scienza. Da Giovanni Paolo II a Benedetto XVI, Il Saggiatore, three editions (20052006), Marco Tropea Editore (2011); Ettore Majorana – His Genius and Long–Lasting Legacy, Italian Physical Society (2007);  The Physics of Giampietro Puppi / La Fisica di Giampietro Puppi, WFS (2007);  Neither Science nor Civilization Could exist Without Memory. The Science for Peace Erice Prize, WFS (2007); Galileo Galilei’s Genius in all fields of Human Knowledge / La Genialità di Galileo Galilei in tutti i campi dell’Umano Sapere, SIF (2010–2012);  Exhibition and Solemn Mass in honour of Galileo Galilei / Mostra e Messa Solenne in onore di Galileo Galilei, SIF (2010–2012); The Cultural Roots of the Work of Art “Galilei Divine Man” donated by the CCAST Scientists to the Basilica / Le Radici Culturali dell’Opera d’Arte “Galilei Divin Uomo” donata dagli Scienziati Cinesi del CCAST alla Basilica, SIF (2011–2012); Giovanni Paolo II il Papa amico della Scienza, Marco Tropea Editore (2011); Giovanni Paolo II nella Storia e nella Scienza, WFS (2011); Progetto Archimede, WFS (2013); The New Manhattan Project – Science for Peace the World Over, Il Cigno GG Edizioni (2015).   From 1971 he has written over 2.440 articles in many Italian newspapers and Periodicals, and from 1974 he has held over 1.330 Conferences in Churches, Cathedrals and Cultural Circles in Italy and abroad promoting the values of Science and Faith in the culture of our time.

Back to Professor Antonino Zichichi's Home | Back to Ettore Majorana Foundation and Centre for Scientific Culture's Home